New Voices: Lyla Lee & Susan Hansen on Writing the Stories Only You Can Write

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today I’m interviewing two Texas authors whose childhood experiences inspired them to be writers and shapes the stories they’re writing today.

Susan Hansen is the author of From Behind All the Veils: The Story of Táhirih, illustrated by Susan Reed (George Ronald Books, 2019).

For Lyla Lee, 2020 is a double debut year with the Mindy Kim chapter book series,

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Guest Post: Kate Messner on The Secrets to Writing Lots of Books, Promoting Them, and Still Having a Life

By Kate Messner

I’ll start this post with a confession. I don’t really have any secrets.

The truth is, when my first novel came out in 2009, I made all of the same overeager mistakes other debut writers make when that first book is released–over-promoting and dragging my wonderfully supportive family to book event after book event for an entire season.

(My daughter was nine then.

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Career Achievers: Kelly Starling Lyons on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s Author

By Traci Sorell

I love books that celebrate multigenerational family gatherings and connections between family members of all ages. Going Down Home With Daddy (Peachtree, 2019) combines rich language by Kelly Starling Lyons and spectacular illustrations by Daniel Minter.

When you sit with the book, you easily see why it garnered starred reviews, effusive praise and made The Horn Book’s Calling Caldecott list.

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Guest Post: Author Christina Soontornvat on the Downs (and Eventual Ups) of Making It Past that Debut Year

By Christina Soontornvat

“You’re on fire!”
“Rockstar!”
“You’re killing it!”

Those are the types of comments that came across my social media feed last fall as I posted screenshots of my most recent book deal announcements.

Due to publishing’s funky and unpredictable timing, I had back-to-back announcements two weeks in a row: one for my middle grade nonfiction about the Thai Cave Rescue and another for my new chapter book series,

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